Starring: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto
Director: Ridley Scott
Running Time: 157 mins
House Of Gucci is an American film about the true story of the family who ran one of the world’s most iconic fashion labels, and the rise of Patrizia Reggiani as she married into the family and began to reshape the power dynamics at the top of the company.
A biopic that covers quite some ground over its two and a half hour runtime, Ridley Scott’s House Of Gucci is a perfectly fine film with a lot going on, but it’s in no way the epic drama that it could have been. Despite a whole host of animated performances (some more so than others), House Of Gucci takes a captivating tale of family and power dynamics and tells it in disappointingly predictable fashion, often ripping away the bubbling tension that lies beneath the surface.
On the surface, though, House Of Gucci is a perfectly decent watch. The costume and production design is pretty sleek, it doesn’t drag all too much over its seemingly daunting runtime, and there are a lot of fun characters brought to life in style by the film’s A-list ensemble cast.
So, if you’re looking for a well-produced rundown of the story of the Gucci family in the late 20th century, then this film has got you covered. But surely there’s more to biopics than big-budget production and a simple retelling of history…
Well, disregarding the fact that this film may not be as on-the-money when it comes to accuracy as it may seem, House Of Gucci is a movie that’s pretty lacking in all areas that make a great film. Its story about a family dynasty corrupted by money and power shares clear parallels with The Godfather, while its epic span of two decades brings it right into the same echelon of crime dramas as Martin Scorsese classics like Goodfellas and The Irishman.
But House Of Gucci lacks the majesty of The Godfather, and it really lacks the gripping intensity of the Scorsese classics. It’s a rather one-dimensional account of the shifting power dynamics in the Gucci family that – despite running for so long – leaves little room for the tension that surrounds that central theme to breathe.
There are a lot of important shifts of power that occur throughout this film, but most happen on a dime, where one character falls from grace and another rises in just a few seconds of screen time. This isn’t a weaving, majestic epic where every action has consequences for later on, but rather a more episodic tale where a jump forward in time or a simple scene change is used to signify the biggest moments in its story.
And that’s a real shame, because House Of Gucci could have provided a far more intense and dramatically engaging portrayal of the core relationships in the family, but instead takes a much more simple approach throughout.
The performances are pretty good across the board, Lady Gaga again proving the standout after her brilliant starring turn in A Star Is Born. The rest are strong, although the Italian accents border on the comical a little too often, particularly from Jared Leto and Jeremy Irons. You do get used to it, and by the end, when some of the most intense political drama comes into play, the film really does get into its stride.
For the most part, House Of Gucci is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s a perfectly watchable movie that does well to keep you engaged over its two and a half hours, but it’s an underwhelming and largely predictable way to retell a story full of exhilarating drama, so that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4 overall.